The Green administration in Brighton & Hove is on the brink of implementing a long sought after change in the local road traffic regulations: introducing a 20mph speed limit. The Tories say that they will support it so long as it doesn’t harm business. Labour says the police have said it will not be enforceable. I contacted the police some time ago to ask about that alleged response and they denied it. Sussex Police have confirmed that they will play their part enforcing any such new rule.
The idea is to improve safety and quality of life for residents and people working in or visiting the city. Making the streets safer and more pleasant to use will encourage more cycling and walking. This will not only bring road safety benefits, but will also help to reduce congestion, improve air quality and improve overall health and wellbeing. Owing to the size of the area, it is intended to implement the scheme over the next three years. Here is a map of the staged implementation – click on the image to enlarge it.
The proposals will include most of the residential and shopping streets, while most major roads will remain at 30mph. This is to ensure that limits are realistic without the need for extensive traffic calming – although there may be a requirement to install traffic calming or additional signs in some residential streets to reduce speeds in the future. No options have been ruled out. All views during a public consultation, which you can participate in online! It’s pretty much a one question consultation – whether you support the plan or not? There are the usual survey questions as well, about what sort of person you are and whether you run a business or not. Also you have to submit your postcode but everything remains private.
The fact is that Brighton & Hove’s traffic rarely moves faster than 20mph in the main areas and it is dangerous to drive at 30mph in the residential areas. Limiting the speed to 20mph everywhere will not make any substantial difference to anyone, except for those people (Especially on bicycles!) which are hurt in road traffic accidents.